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Editor Reputation and Journal Quality: The Case of Regional Economic Association Journals

  • João R Faria , Franklin G Mixon EMAIL logo and Kamal P Upadhyaya


This study provides a formal game that explores how editor reputation and rent seeking play a part in scholarly research that involves regional economic association journals. The game asserts that a regional economic association journal’s reputation is determined by the academic reputation of its editor, the academic reputation of the department wherein the journal is housed, and, among other things, rent seeking by scholars. Evidence from the two most prominent regional economic association journals in the United States, namely Economic Inquiry and the Southern Economic Journal, generally support these aspects of the formal game.

JEL Classification: A14; C60; C70


A Derivation of the Reaction Functions

The Hamiltonians for the scholar and editor are,




respectively. Maximizing the Hamiltonians with respect to the control variables yields,




The adjoint equations are,




wherein the usual transversality conditions apply. Differentiating (14) with respect to time, using (2) and substituting into (16) yields the editor’s dynamic reaction function,


where (17) is equivalent to (5) in the main body of the study.

The scholar’s dynamic reaction function is obtained by differentiating (13) with respect to time, keeping R constant, using (2) and substituting into (15),


Here eq. (18) is equivalent to eq. (6) in the main body of the study.

B Stability of Equilibrium

The Jacobian of the dynamic system (1), (5) and (6) calculated at the steady-state equilibrium (in (7), (8) and (9)) is given by,


As the determinant of the Jacobian, J, is negative,


The steady-state equilibrium is a saddle point (see Braun 1983, Chapter 4). The only path of the saddle point that satisfies the optimality and transversality conditions is the convergent path of the saddle point (see Blanchard and Fischer 1989: 75).


The authors thank two anonymous referees for many helpful comments, and Kaulene Gellerman of the Western Economic Association International for providing some of the data used in this study. The usual caveat applies.


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Published Online: 2018-1-23

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